Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Chicago
When the Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat 96-89 on Jan. 4, the team played with purpose and did a good job of executing its game plan. However, that would not be the case when the two clubs faced each other on Feb 21.
After playing the Heat to a 22-22 tie in the first quarter, the Bulls were unable to keep up with the Heat the rest of the way and fell 86-67 before a disappointed crowd at the United Center.
Although the Bulls had a slim 39-36 advantage on the glass, 27 turnovers and shooting only 37 percent shooting from the field, ultimately led to one of the team‘s ugliest performances of the season.
With the loss, the Bulls dropped to 31-23 on the season, while the Heat improved to 38-14, including nine straight wins.
Loul Deng: D
Tom Thibodeau has often expressed that Loul Deng is the best all-around player on the roster. However, the Bulls star could not get it going in this contest.
Deng had a quiet six points, connecting on only 3-of-12 shots from the floor. He did pull down six rebounds and had two assists, but he was hardly a factor from an offensive standpoint.
What was even more concerning was LeBron James nearly recorded a triple-double, scoring 26 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out seven assists. Of course shutting the opponent’s best player usually falls on the entire team, instead of just one person, so I will give him on a pass on that front.
Carlos Boozer: B
Carlos Boozer recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting an efficient 5-for-9 from the field.
While the Bulls did score 38 points in the paint, it would have been a good idea to feed the ball to Boozer more frequently, to help create easier scoring opportunities for the other players on the floor.
Joakim Noah: B+
Joakim Noah always brings energy and effort to the table regardless of what the outcome of the game is. Although this was a bad loss, the young All-Star center chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, thus affirming he is one of the best passing big men in the league.
The only negative I have to mention about Noah’s game was his four turnovers. In his defense, he was trying to get the ball to his teammates, but he passed up multiple shot opportunities in the process.
Rip Hamilton: D
Rip Hamilton scored seven points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field, but his production had little impact on the game.
When the Bulls acquired the talented shooting-guard last season, it was with the intention of providing Derrick Rose with some scoring help in the backcourt.
Thanks to a multitude of injuries and limited playing time during his tenure with the team, his production has been inconsistent at best.
Nate Robinson: B
Nate Robinson led the Bulls in scoring with 14 points and handed out three assists. His nine points in the opening quarter helped the Bulls keep the game close.
However, he did not score again until the fourth quarter and his last five points came when the game was already out of reach.
While Robinson gives the Bulls more scoring punch compared with Kirk Hinrich, the team’s offense looks more fluid when Hinrich starts at the point-guard position.